ATLANTA (January 28, 2009) Governor Sonny Perdue was joined by the Chairman of the Senate Economic Development Committee Chip Pearson and other state leaders as he proclaimed Tuesday as Tourism Day in Georgia.

“I’m excited that Governor Perdue has declared today Tourism Day,” Sen. Pearson said. “It’s good to know that this industry in Georgia is continuing to make a positive impact.”

Promoters gathered at the Capitol to put the spotlight on the state’s second largest industry. Delicious smells filled the air as tourism promoters passed out samples and other items that encompass the numerous attractions in the state. Members of the tourism industry presented a check for $8.45 million, the amount of state tax revenue generated by tourism-related expenditures.

Georgia ranks eighth in the nation for total economic impact. Georgia generates $34.1 billion directly, $1.5 billion in state and local tax revenues and $6.3 billion in resident wages through tourism. Tourism is also responsible for 241,800 jobs in Georgia.

Sen. Pearson was joined by Sen. Jeff Mullis, Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD), Commissioner Ken Stewart, Chairman of Georgia Convention and Visitors Bureau Lisa Smith, Chairman of Tourism Development Alliance of Georgia Sean McDinnis, GDEcD Deputy Commissioner for Tourism and Marketing Charlie Gatlin, GDEcD Kevin Langston, Chairman of the House Economic Development committee Ron Stephens, Rep. Butch Parris, Rep. Tom Weldon, Rep. Jay Neal, Rep. Barbara Reece and Rep. Michael Hardin.

The GDEcD is the state’s sales and marketing arm, the lead agency for attracting new business investment, encouraging the expansion of existing industry and small businesses, locating new markets for Georgia products, attracting tourist to Georgia and promoting the state as a location for film, video and music projects, as well as planning and mobilizing state resources for economic development.